Huffpost Parents
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Janet Casey Headshot

The Moment I Realized I Had Become a Mean Mommy

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

2013-10-08-james_sling.jpg

There is a moment in every mom's life in which she realizes that she has indeed been, as I describe it, a "mean mommy." There was a defining moment in my life as a mother when I realized that I indeed had turned into a mean mommy, and I decided to do something about it. I vowed to never judge or criticize another mom again, cause you never know where life will take you or what challenges you and your family will endure. This will make more sense as your read about my own "mean mommy" moment.

A few years back, I was in line at the liquor store around the holidays. In front of me was this mother with a little girl who looked to be about 4 years old. She had a full leg cast on and the mother had her on the counter sitting next to her bottles of wine. At the time, I thought to myself, How on earth did your 4-year-old daughter break her leg? Oh... it gets worse. My mind continued to wander, Why would you bring that poor little girl out with you to get your beer and wine? Oh... and worse still, You were probably busy drinking wine and not watching your daughter when she broke her leg. I'm not just a mean mommy, I'm a mommy monster. Luckily, I have enough sense not to open my big mouth, and stood quietly judging this other mom. Writing this, I am embarrassed to have been such a horrible judgmental mother, even if I didn't say it.

It often takes hindsight before we can really grow and improve as human beings. This is exactly what it took for me. Almost two years ago, our daughter Jocelyn fell while we were camping. She is a tough little cookie and didn't cry too much. Days later, we noticed her collarbone area turned yellow and green, oh and there was a bone sticking out. She had broken her collar bone, and we didn't even know it until days later. The aftermath of doctor's appointments, x-rays and a ridiculous amount of judgement opened my eyes to the tremendous stress that mothers go through when their children get hurt.

Oh wait... it gets better. The universe must have really been sending a message to me. Less than six months later, our son thought it would be a good idea to jump off a couch on to an exercise ball. He launched himself across the room and on to the floor. The scream was deafening. After a night at the emergency room, and him almost needing surgery, he was sent home with a sling and a stuffed bear. Oh yeah... and a broken collar bone. Yes that's right, both our children have now broken their collar bones.

So, this was my moment. After both our children broke their collar bones you can imagine the amount of judgment and criticism I received from other moms. I couldn't even be angry about it, because I myself remember doing this to another mom. Looking back, I wish I had been able to realize a few things about the mother at the liquor store. First off, her child was too young to use crutches, but too big to use a stroller. This poor mom had to carry her child everywhere. Secondly, it was the holidays, and she probably had a million errands that she had to do, including a stop to get some wine. Thirdly, maybe after being through a traumatic event like your child breaking a bone, she just needed some freaking wine. Seriously, I can't believe that I was once the mommy monster I described. I wish that I would have told that mom that she was doing a great job and that her patience was commendable. I wish I had offered to help her get her daughter out to the car and her wine safely into her trunk. I wish I would have opened a bottle right there and then and done a 'cheers,' cause any mom who goes through the stress of a hurt child needs to hear that they are doing a good job.

Please don't judge me, but reflect on yourself and realize that we all have had a mean mommy moment. Join me now and vow to tell another mom that she is an amazing mother and to support one another through both our struggles and triumphs.